Food Safety Management/HACCP

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Hazard Analysis Critical Control Point (HACCP) is a process that helps you look at how you handle food and introduce procedures to make sure that the food you produce is safe to eat.

Under current European Union legislation, food businesses are required to implement and maintain permanent procedures based on HACCP principles as detailed below: 

Seven principles of HACCP:

  • identify what could go wrong (the hazards)
  • identify the most important points where things can go wrong (the critical control points – CCPs)
  • set critical limits at each CCP (e.g. cooking temperature/time)
  • set up checks at CCPs to prevent problems occurring (monitoring)
  • decide what to do if something goes wrong (corrective action)
  • prove that your HACCP Plan is working (verification)
  • keep records of all of the above (documentation)

You will need to review it from time to time, especially whenever something in your food operation changes. You may also wish to ask one of our Environmental Health Officers for advice.

During inspections Environmental Health Officers check that the business has an appropriate HACCP-based food safety management system in place. Your HACCP and associated records must be kept up to date and be available for inspection at all times on your premises.

How do I document a HACCP?

The majority of food businesses are required to have a documented food safety management system in place based on the HACCP principles. In order to help you comply a number of packs available for specific types of food businesses have been developed to help food business operators manage their food safety management procedures. Environmental Health Officers can provide advice on implementing these within your business.

The Safe Catering Pack is suitable for catering operation. The Safer Food Better Business is suitable for other types of food business. MyHACCP will be of assistance to small food manufacturing businesses.

Safe catering packs

The safe catering pack has been developed with help and expertise from the food industry and local authorities. This guide will help you to produce a food safety management plan based on HACCP principles and to keep records appropriate to your business.

When you start your business you may be provided with a Safe Catering folder and one pack of free record books as a one off. You can only get additional hard copies of record books from your local Environmental Health Office or The Stationery Office (TSO).

Safer Food, Better Business

Safer Food, Better Business (SFBB) in a practical approach to food safety management. It’s been developed to help small businesses put in place food safety management procedures and comply with food hygiene regulations. You can find plenty of packs and other resources to guide you on the Food Standards Agency website.


The FSA has produced MyHACCP, a free online web tool that guides food businesses through the process of identifying food safety hazards and controls and the production of a documented food safety management system based on HACCP principles. The tool is aimed at small food manufacturing businesses but will be useful to businesses in other sectors.

The web tool can viewed at: